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Location: The Promised Land

This is my triumphant return to the lifestyle I've always furthered and forwarded in my heart, at least, so let's blast off. The first half of my life has been incredible and the second segment will include more splendors than any Ottoman Sultan could ever have wished for in his golden repose. Anyway, fasten your laughter belt cuz you're on a collision course with wackiness.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


California is the Golden State and Nevada carries the name of Silver. I just passed an anniversary of the first time I ever saw the Grateful Dead which took place on August 22nd, 1987 at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds made famous by frogs and Mark Twain. There were hundreds of events that randomly led up to my running across the Dead that summer, most of which was spent on a cross country spectacular with world renowned artist, Joe Peery. Loaded in to a convertible 1970 VW bug, deep pumpkin orange, we set out from Atlanta and shot west with few set destinations, mostly National Parks and geographic oddities. On the road we had a nest egg and after that it was either get jobs or go home but we were camping mostly and had family sprinkled all over the country and could pay surprising visits and get clean and rested and full.
To move on, the bug collapsed in San Jose, California but luckily we were ensconced at Joe's brother place and could relax and work on the car which meant totally rebuilding the poor engine. Having happened upon some deadheads in a VW bus in northern Nevada we had found out about this festival that the Dead were playing and Santana was going to open(what a double bill!). Joe's brother, Ray, loaned us his car which was a nice new 280 Z which we were flabbergasted to be driving and roared into San Francisco at about 115 up US 101 on Friday night, the 21st. We looked for some live music in North Beach and found a little blues club that was a cool place to down some beers and then ate chinese takeout on a sidewalk 'round Chinatown before heading back for a few hours sleep. We forced ourselves up on a Saturday morning and popped in the Sex Pistols to get the blood up. We had precious little to smoke but kick started the long journey ahead and we were flying over the rolling golden hills with giant wind mills reaping the winds that coasted down through the valleys. Our destination was Angel's Camp which was just south of Yosemite and north of Bass Lake and it was my job to plot the course east.
The roads dwindled from superhighway to four lane to two lane and the cluster fuck started. About twenty thousand of us were all pouring in from the same direction at the same time and, like Woodstock, the roads weren't built to handle it. We had a six pack of Dos Equis in the car and the last two were warm going down. Crawling along in traffic, I rolled up our last bit of beautiful California Green which had been a thing of such joy and beauty to us gawkers from the southeast.
At this point the horrible thing was not knowing how much furthur we had to go and the afternoon was starting to crest. Joe made a quick decision and just jumped out of the car and I had to hop out and run around to drive while he just took off running ahead, making better time. For a good half hour I just crept along and wondered what the hell was going to happen next as I choked down the last sip of warm dark beer. That's a good spot to stop off and finish tomorrow, just like an epidsode of the Wonderful World of Disney or Batman. You decide!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

World renowned? -Jim T

9:21 AM  
Blogger Tony Aguirre said...

That's virtuoso songwriter/ musician, Jim T of the Floating Coats, folks. Stan

3:11 AM  

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